Mood Blanket 2014 Recap

Here we are, January 2, 2015, and my crochet mood blanket 2014 sits waiting for the last few rows to be finished. I will most definitely finish it, hopefully in the next week. For now I wanted to post what I do have.

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Ah, so lovely. I love it. It tells the story of the whole year, the good and the bad.

I had originally decided to do one square per day, but after about a week I realized that it would turn out smaller than I wanted. I absolutely love big blankets, so why not do two squares a day, I thought. Perhaps this was a bit too ambitious, because I ended up getting behind in April, only to leave on field camp for six weeks on May and June. It took the rest of the summer before I was caught up, just before grad school started up again, and I immediately fell behind. Ha.

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So the master plan was this. Two squares a day for 365 days plus 14 extra filler squares done in all white to make the blanket an even rectangle – a total of 744 squares. Specific colors were not designated for specific moods, but were chosen each day to best match the mood. So many of the colors represent more than one mood and one mood may not always be represented by the same color. In the end, this is what the colors generally stand for:

Dark red = love, brave, courage, empowered

bright red = anger, frustration, embarrassed

coral = stressed, nervous, busy

Light peach = hopeful, nervous, guilty

bright peach = fun, joy, hope

Bright pink = excited, fun

Dark orange = cozy, busy, unfocused

Bright yellow = very happy, fun

light yellow= happy, content, neutral

light green = relieved, relaxed, cheery, calm, adventurous

green = productive, accomplished

Turquoise = relaxed, guilty, relieved

bright blue = inspired, creative, wishful

dark blue = sad, empathy

light purple = tired

purple/magenta = happy, glad

dark purple = grumpy

light gray = bored, meh

dark gray = upset, negative

brown = adventurous, unsure

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I had been kind of looking forward to being finished and not taking on another 365 day project. But now that it’s [almost] finished, it’s kind of sad. Many of the folks on Instagram are continuing on to a mood blanket 2015. I don’t believe I’ll do another mood blanket, but I did come across a neat idea for a crochet the sky blanket 2015 – crochet a row per day in the color of the sky.

Field Camp

Hey guys,

I’ve been absent for a while now, but I just returned home from a six week geology field camp in Montana! Ah, and what a blast it was, too. We spent just about three weeks in Dillon, Montana, before heading out to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park for a weekend camping trip. From there we travelled to Elkhorn Hot Springs, and finally to Glacier National Park. I cannot even begin to describe what an amazing experience this trip was.

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Now that I’m back, though, it’s time to get back to business – that is my mood blanket. I did not bring any crochet materials on the trip, so I’m pretty far behind on squares. Two squares a day for nearly six weeks puts me behind by 84 squares! Plus, let’s be honest, I was a few weeks behind before I left on field camp back in May, so I estimate that I’m behind by one hundred or so squares. Eek. The good news is that I was prepared for this. I’ve been keeping a little sketch book/diary where I’ve kept track of my moods, so all I have to do is get to work on those squares. Heh…shouldn’t be too bad, right?

IMG_2707 copyHere is my progress so far.

Crochet Mood Blanket – Three Months Progress

    Three months down! I have managed to keep up with my mood blanket so far. It kind of looks like I could have gone with one square per day instead of two and been just fine. But I think I’ll use it as a bedspread when it’s finished, so I’ll probably be happy with the size in the end.

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    I still have to join the seventh row. I almost wish I had done a pattern that used the join-as-you-go technique because it’s been tough keeping up with all that joining!

Little Elephant Pattern

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It’s finally here! Little Elephant pattern —

Materials:

Worsted Weight Yarn

Size 5 (F)/3.75 mm hook

Yarn needle

Stuffing

Safety eyes or buttons

Pipe Cleaner or wire (optional)

Abbreviations/Terms:

U.S. terms

Chain (ch)

Single Crochet (sc)

Double Crochet (dc)

Half Double Crochet (hdc)

Treble Crochet (tr)

Increase (inc)

Slip Stitch (sl st)

Stitch/Stitches (st/sts)

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Body:

(Make two)

For striped body (purple elephant) – change colors every 2 rows until head (row 19)

For random stripes (rainbow elephant) – change colors randomly until head (row 19)

For granny square body (back of purple elephant) – make a granny square, pattern of your choice. The last round should have 19 stitches (including chain spaces). Then join yarn to make head, starting at row 19 below. If your square has relatively large holes, you may want to sew a piece of felt or fabric to the inside before assembly.

Foundation:  ch 20 (turn)

Rows 1 – 18:  sc 19, ch 1, turn

Rows 19 – 27 (head): sc 19, ch 1, turn

Trunk:

Foundation:  magic ring with sc 7

Rounds 1 – 2:  sc 7

Round 3 (change to color B for stripe): sc 7

Round 4: sc 7

Round 5 (change to color C for second stripe or back to color A for single stripe):  sc 7

Round 6:  sc 7

Round 7:  inc, sc 6

Round 8:  sc 8

Round 9:  inc, sc 7

Round 10 – 11: sc 9

Round 12:  inc, sc 8

Rounds 13 – 19:  sc 10. Fasten, leaving a long tail for sewing

Ears:

(Make 2)

Foundation:  ch 6, turn

Round 1:  sc, hdc, (dc tr dc), hdc, 3 sc in next st turning to bottom of foundation chain, sc 4, ch 1 turn

Row 2:  inc, sc 3, inc ( 7 sts)

Row 3: sc 7

Row 4: inc, sc 5, inc (9 sts)

Row 5: sc 9

Row 6: sc, (hdc tr hdc), sl st in next st, sc, (hdc tr hdc), sl st in next st, sc, (hdc tr hdc), sl st in next st. Fasten off.

Legs:

(Make 4)

Foundation: magic ring with 9 sc

Round 1: inc, sc 4, inc, sc 3

Round 2: sc, inc, sc 3, inc, sc 3, inc, sc 1

Rounds 3 – 9 (change to color B): sc 14. Fasten, leaving a long tail for sewing.

Eyes:

Foundation: ch 4, join with sl st to first ch to form ring

Round 1: sc 10 in ring

Round 2: sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc, sc, inc

Tail:

Foundation: ch 10, turn

Row 1:  sc 9

To add hairs on end of tail:

cut 3-5 strips of yarn (about 3 inches/ about 7.5 cm in length).

Fold strip of yarn in half. Insert hook in end of tail, pull up the yarn strip at the loop. Wrap the two ends around hook and pull through loop.

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Polka Dots (optional):

Magic ring with 6 dc. Fasten, leaving long tail for sewing

Assembly:

Attach eyes first, then attach trunk directly below eyes. To make the trunk posable, insert a pipe cleaner or wire before stuffing.

Attach tail to back.

Body:  Place front and back together (right sides out, insides facing each other). Starting at bottom right corner, sc together along the outside edges all around, pausing at bottom to add stuffing.

Stuff legs and attach to body.

New Project

I started a new project today. Can you guess what it is?

I’ll give you a hint. It’s going to be an animal softie. Image

More pictures and a pattern to come!

That’s right – I’m working on writing a pattern for this guy as well. My first softie pattern! I was too excited not to share. Keep a lookout for it in the next week or two.

Playing Catch-Up

Ahh, I let myself get behind! Eleven days behind. I’m not even kidding, though I can’t really say I’m surprised. I knew from the start it’d be tough to keep up with two squares a day, so I was prepared. I’ve been keeping my moods for each day written down in a journal so that I can make them up when I have the chance. And today was just that chance.

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Refreshed. It’s been a beautiful day here – 60 degrees! It was the perfect afternoon to re-inspire me to start back up on my mood blanket. I am now happily caught up with all twenty-two squares. That makes 94 squares for the year so far!

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It looks like it’s coming together very well! I’m pleased with it. I’m excited to see it at the end of the year.

Now I just have to catch up with blocking, weaving in ends, and joining, but I think I’ll leave that for another day and just write today off as a success.

Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, all!

I always like to give cheesy Valentines. It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure, I suppose. After all, I’m pretty certain there’s nothing better than a word play or a pun, and Valentine’s Day just seems to lend itself to those (or maybe it’s just me). This year, I thought I’d throw crochet into the mix.

Anyway, enjoy these:

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A fluttering owl. “Owl” always love word plays and puns. What a hoot.

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And of course the skunk. Isn’t he odor-able? Though really, I’d say this one is a little more scent-sible than the other.

Stinkin’ Sweet Valentine

Two of my favorite things:  animals and word plays.

I designed this guy for a cute little Valentine. Sew him on a card or use for an embellishment or brooch.

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Materials:

size G (4mm) crochet hook

worsted weight yarn in black, white, and red

yarn needle

Terminology:

U.S. Terms

Chain (ch)

Single crochet (sc)

Double crochet (dc)

Treble crochet (tr)

Slip stitch (sl st)

Stitch/stitches (st/sts)

Head:

Foundation Round:  Magic ring with 8 dc. Join with sl st to first dc.

Round 1:  ch 1, 2 sc in same st, 2 sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in each of next 4 sts, 2 sc in next st. Join with sl st to first sc.

Round 2: for first ear: ch 2, 1 dc in same st, sc, sl st in next st. Fasten off.

For second ear: join with sl st to fourth st from first ear, sc in next st, 2 dc in next st, sl st in same st. Fasten off.

Body:

In White:

Foundation:  chain 9, turn

Round 1:  Starting in second ch from hook, 8 sc, 3 sc in same st forming turn to bottom of foundation chain, 7 sc, 2 sc in same st. Join to first sc of round 1.

In Black:

Round 2: 2 sc in each st around. Join with sl st to first sc. Fasten off.

Arms:

Make two

Foundation:  chain 6, turn

Row 1: starting in second ch from hook, 5 sc. Fasten off.

Legs:

Make one

Foundation: ch 17, turn

Row 1: starting in second ch from hook, 16 sc. fasten off.

Tail:

In White:

Foundation: ch 17, turn

Row 1: starting in fourth ch from hook, 14 dc, 2 dc in same st beginning curve toward bottom of foundation chain. Fasten off.

In Black:

Row 2: starting on bottom left of foundation chain (next to end of row 1), 2 sc in first st, 12 sc, 2 sc in next st, 2 sc in next space forming turn to top of work, 2 sc in next st, 12 sc, 2 sc in next st. Join with sl st to first sc of row 2. Fasten off.

Heart:

Foundation:  Magic ring with 6 sc, join with sl st to first sc

Round 1: ch 2, 2 dc in same st, sc, sc dc in next st, tr sc in next st, sc, 3 dc, sl st into same st. Fasten off.

Assembly:

Embroider  eyes, nose, and white marks on face.

Attach head and tail to body. To attach legs, form an arc and sew to back of body. For arms, sew to hear first, then fold arm around and attach to backside of body. This creates a 3D effect where the skunk is holding out his heart to you.

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Snowman Square/Appliqué Pattern

I wouldn’t exactly say winter is my favorite season, but I do love snowmen. And seeing as I’m having yet another snow day today, I thought I’d share this pattern to help brighten up this long winter.

I’m eventually going to make a blanket using snowman squares, but you could just use the snowman appliqué on its own.

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Materials:

Worsted weight yarn

Size G(6) / 4mm hook (Really, you can use any yarn weight and matching hook)

Yarn needle

Stitches/Abbreviations:

US terms

Chain (ch)

Single crochet (sc)

Double crochet (dc)

Slip Stitch (sl st)

Stitch/stitches (st/sts)

Head:     

Foundation round:  Start with a magic ring with 10 dc

Round 1:  2 sc in each dc around. Join with a sl st to first sc of round 1. Fasten off. Leave a long tail for sewing.

Body:

Foundation round:  Start with a magic ring with 8 dc

Round 1:  2 sc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in each of next 2 std, 2 sc in each of next two sts, 2 dc in each of next 2 sts. Join with a sl st to first st of round 1.

Round 2:  ch 1, sc in same st, 3 sc, 1 sc 1dc in next st, 2 dc in each of next 3 sts, 1 dc 1 sc in next st, sc 4, 1 sc 1 dc in next st, 2 dc in each of next 3 std, 1 dc 1 sc in next st. Join with sl st to first sc of round 2. Fasten off.

Hat:

Start with a foundation chain 10, turn.

Row 1:  Starting in third chain from hook, 8 sc. Turn (without a ch stitch).

Row 2:  sl st in next 3 sts, ch 3, 1 dc in same st, dc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, ch 2 and turn

Row 3:  1 dc in each st across. Fasten off.

Scarf:

Start with a foundation ch 18, starting in third ch from hook, 16 sc across. Fasten off.

For second tail of scarf:  Starting on the back of work in 6th st from beginning of scarf, join with sc, sc in next st, ch 7, turn

Round 2:  starting in third ch from hook, 5 sc, sl st into next st on first tail of scarf. Fasten off.

Assembly:

Sew head and body together. Sew scarf on to neck. Sew hat on to head.

Embroider buttons, eyes, nose, and mouth.

For Square:

Use any square pattern of preference.

For mine I did:

Foundation round: Start with magic ring with 8 dc, join with sl st to first dc

Round 1: ch 3, 2 dc in same st, ch 3, 3 dc in same st, dc, *(3 dc in same st, ch 3, 3 dc in same st), dc, repeat from * twice. Join with sl st to first st of round 1.

Round 2: ch 3, 2 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 7 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 7 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 7 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 5 dc, join with sl st to first st of round 2.

Round 3:  ch 3, 4 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 13 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 13 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 13 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 9 dc, join with sl st to first st of round 3.

Round 4:  ch 3, 7 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 19 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 19 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 19 dc, (3 dc in ch 3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in same space), 12 dc, join with sl st to first st of round 4. Fasten off.

Sew snowman appliqué to center of square using matching colors.